Over the summer an international tournament called the Copa America took place. The tournament was to determine who was the best international team in South America. While I was watching I observed that Peru had a lot of talent. In the group stages they just barely lost to Brazil in extra time, beat Venezuela, and tied Columbia. Then they managed to get to the semi-finals where they looked like the better team against Chile (they would go on to win the tournament), but lost, 2-1. The Peruvians went on to win 2-0 in the third place match against Paraguay. Two players especially stood out to me during their campaign. Striker, Paolo Guerrero who plays for Flamengo and center-back, Carlos Zambrano who plays for Eintracht Frankfurt. Guerrero was tied for top goalscorer with 4 goals and on the team of the tournament. Carlos Zambrano was a rock in the back and made countless great tackles. Judging by their performances in the Copa America both of these players would be great additions to any team. Maybe we’ll see them at top clubs in the coming years.
Here is a brief recap of this past week’s international break matches. Argentina played a replay of the World Cup Final when they faced Germany, but this time Argentina won, 4-2. England barely beat Norway, 1-0 with their only goal coming off a Wayne Rooney penalty in the 68th minute. Jurgen Klinsman’s U.S.A. team beat the Czech Rebublic, 1-0 in their first game back from the World Cup. Belgium dominated against Australia and were able to pull off a 2-0 victory. Italy netted twice early on to get a win against the Netherlands. France won 1-0 against the former reigning World Cup champions, Spain. Once again Neymar scores Brazil’s only goal in their 1-0 victory over Columbia. Scotland almost tied the reigning World Cup champions, Germany, but they let in a goal in the 70th minute (and lost 2-1). Albania shocked Portugal by beating them in Euro qualifying, 1-0! Thank goodness that there is not another one of these breaks next week because not having Premier League was killing me!
Today two teams battled for the biggest honor in football, to be World Cup champions. It was Argentina vs. Germany. The game was tied, 0-0, after 90 minutes (Argentina should’ve scored about a billion times) and the game went into extra time. Then, in the 113th minute Mario Götze (F.Y.I. He was a sub) scored to put Germany ahead, 1-0! They were able to hold the lead and won their fourth World Cup and their first World Cup as a unified Germany. Germany are now only one World Cup from tying the record for most World Cups held by Brazil (5)!
The Netherlands have been so close to winning the World Cup so many times, but someone always gets in their way. Last World Cup it was Spain and this time it was Argentina. They held Messi and Co. to 0-0 for 120 minutes (Argentina scored, but it was called offsides. I don’t think it was). Wow! The game went into penalties and this time Louis van Gaal (the Netherlands coach) was unable to sub Tim Krul (the penalty master) in. The Argentine goalie saved the first penalty. Then when the game (in penalties) was 3-1 and the Dutch needed to score he saved another to win the game! The Netherlands will have to wait four more years for another chance at the trophy. Meanwhile, Argentina will have a chance to win the cup this year in Brazil!
The Brazilian national team were huge favorites to win the World Cup this year. Although, people may have had doubts when Brazil didn’t play very well in the group stages. When Brazil faced another favorite, Germany, they were shocked by the German dominance. They were crushed, 7-1! The game was over in the 30th minute when the game was already 5-0, but Germany were relentless. Five different people scored for the Germans, one was Miroslav Klose who broke the record for most goals scored in World Cup history (now 16)! Germany have now booked a spot in the final against either the Netherlands or Argentina.
Costa Rica definitely exceeded expectations this World Cup. I would have never predicted that they would be in the quarter finals! Sadly, (for the Ticos) the Netherlands ended their Cinderella run. They fought hard and were able to hold the game at 0-0 for 120 minutes! The game went into penalties. Costa Rica might have won the game if Louis van Gaal hadn’t strategically subbed on Tim Krul (goalkeeper) in the 120th minute. He came up with two big saves to give the Dutch the win, 0(4)-0(3).